Sector/ Subsector: N.A.
Implementing Agency: International Trade Centre
Project’s donors: Egypt, Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Swedish International Co
Brief Description: In the framework of the ITC program on non-tariff measures, national surveys have been undertaken in four member countries of the League of Arab States (LAS), namely in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and the State of Palestine. The “fast track” activities intended to complete a cross-country analysis of the results and findings of the four surveys. The in-depth analysis was presented to member countries and regional partners to identify concrete actions at national and regional levels that will help reduce or eliminate existing trade related obstacles.operation Agency (Sida), ITFC, IsDB, UNDP
|Contributes to Program Output 1:||Enhance regional competitiveness through trade policy reform and TSI efficiency, and focuses specifically on enhancing TSI efficiency|
|Target Countries:||Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen|
|Duration: 09 months||09 months|
|Start date:||1 April 2014|
|End date:||31 December 2014|
|Expected Results:||1. Regional workshops held to discuss Non-tariff measures (NTM) survey results and how to address them
2. Provision of policy recommendations to address selected NTM
3. Three national non-tariff measure surveys initiated
|Expected impact:||Improved knowledge of existing NTMs and development of action plans to alleviate such obstacles.|
|Approved budget:||$ 212,200|
|List of deliverables||Deliverable 1: Regional workshop organised and action plan to address priority NTMs defined.
Based in the recommendations of the regional workshop, a new project was designed and funded by USAID to implement a coordinated regional approach to alleviating trade related obstacles to increase regional integration
Deliverable 2: Provision of policy recommendations to address selected NTMs.
Result 1: “Facilitating trade in Arab States – Insights from the ITC business surveys on NTMs” prepared for publishing in 2015
analysing main NTM related obstacles to intra-regional trade in three key areas: 1) product quality and conformity, 2) rules of
origin and other trade related measures, 3) customs clearance and border controls.
Deliverable 3: Three national non-tariff measure surveys initiated.
Result 1: NTM survey in Jordan initiated.
|Main Lessons learnt:||Lesson 1: The fast track activities deviated attention from the core and overall project whereas they were designed to move implementation faster. The narrow focus on managing these activities instead of focusing on the next steps resulted in a waste of time.
Lesson 2: uncertainty vis à vis the availability of funding and the timing when it would be transferred prevented ITC from engaging in activities which were to start during fast-track and continue during the lifetime of the project
Lesson 3: the long delays in getting the agreement with UNDP signed and to make funds available for use in implementing the project (this was done on 30 April) provided ITC with a short period of 6 months (taking into consideration Ramadan, summer months and end of year constraints) to implement all activities described which were almost impossible.
|Recommendation (s) for follow-up:||It is critical to ensure forward planning and fast transfer of resources to ensure effective planning and efficient implementation of the project.
NTMs are the main hurdle in developing intra-Arab trade. Work on reducing/alleviating NTMs is a high priority to ensure a more conducive business environment and trade facilitation within the region.
Through interaction with member countries specific needs have been identified in terms of capacity building, knowledge sharing and dissemination of best practices across all member countries to ensure more transparency and harmonization of rules, regulations, and procedures.